San Cristobal, Chamula, Sumidero Canyon

San Cristobal de Las Casas Travel Blog

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Night sky in San Cristobal

I was wondering why we were continuously jerking around the road on the way to Mexico when I realised that the driver had a nervous twitch in his arm (unfortunate for his line of work). Each time he twitched, we would jerk alarmingly to the left. Luckily, the twitch extended to his right arm as well, so most of the time, he did not have to correct. However I did get a bit worried when he stopped to fill up with fuel and the petrol was going everywhere.

Eventually, we got to San Cristobal. Its a lovely city, Spanish colonial style. I decided to try out my spanish on the waiter in the first steak restaurant I could find. I pulled off a great order and was happily eating my way through a massive T-Bone when the aforementioned waiter arrives with another huge steak, this time a sirloin.

San Cristobal
Seems I had managed to order 4 steaks in total and I still had a fillet and a rib-eye to go. I managed to first two and then gave up and admitted defeat (in english...).

Next day was to Chamula. Most people who have come to San Cristobal have been here but for those who havenĀ“t, its a group of Mayan villages on top of a hill. Their big tourist pull is the church, which is a really strange mix of catholic and other traditional mayan beliefs. All the locals go to the church with a coke, candles and eggs (eggs are optional, only required if you need some healing. If you need alot of healing, you need to take a chicken). They start praying to their local saint, usually St. John the Baptist - who is the main man, much more important than Jesus or any other figure - and one of the many medicine men comes round and prays with them.

The amazing church in Shamula. the date on the front (1544) is a porky pie because the spanish only arrived in Shamula in 1546.
He tells them hows many candles to light and which colour and then takes the egg and gently rolls it over whichever part of your body that needs healing. Most of the people we saw needed their soul healed (because when you go outside of Chamula, your soul becomes contaminated and needs to be purified) So, the eggs were mainly being rubbed around their chests. When the medicine man has finished praying, everyone takes a sip of coke and then belches to release the evil spirts. Quite something to see, and even though loads of tourists come to see it, it appears to be totally genuine, as opposed to being done for the effect.

Next day was a trip to Sumidero canyon which is a tourist trap. Amazing canyon though, walls are around 1km high.

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Night sky in San Cristobal
Night sky in San Cristobal
San Cristobal
San Cristobal
The amazing church in Shamula. the…
The amazing church in Shamula. th…
Sumidero Canyon
Sumidero Canyon